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Vitamin D Rx Appears to Help Some Patients Lose Weight

May boost dieting efforts in obese patients already low in the nutrient

FRIDAY, May 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For obese Americans who are deficient in vitamin D, taking a supplement of the nutrient might help them lose weight, new research suggests. The study was to be presented Thursday at the European Congress on Obesity, held from May 6 to 9 in Prague.

Luisella Vigna, M.D., of the University of Milan, and colleagues studied 400 overweight and obese people with vitamin D deficiency who were put on a low-calorie diet and then divided into three groups. One group took no vitamin D supplements, while the two other groups took either 25,000 international units (IU) or 100,000 IU of vitamin D per month.

After six months, participants in both vitamin D supplementation groups had lost more weight and had greater reductions in their waistlines than those who hadn't taken the supplements, Vigna's team found.

"The present data indicate that in obese and overweight people with vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D supplementation aids weight loss and enhances the beneficial effects of a reduced-calorie diet," Vigna's team said in a European Congress on Obesity news release. The researchers suggest that all overweight and obese people should have their vitamin D levels tested. Previous studies have suggested that about 40 percent of North American adults are deficient in vitamin D.

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